GIG REVIEW: Cian Ducrot at KOKO

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Monday 20 March, tour runs until 28 April 2023

SETLIST: Make Believe; Victory; Not Usually Like This; Aftertaste; Him; Crocodiles; Endless Nights; How Do You Know?; Hello Gorgeous; Part Of Me; All For You; I’ll Be Waiting

Last night Ducrot played a sold out show at the 2,400-capacity KOKO in Camden and has re-arranged his tour schedule so he can support Ed Sheeran at gigs including The 02 in London on Friday and Saturday this week.

  • Read on for reasons including how we can’t wait for Ducrot’s debut album

It feels a long way from when we saw him on 1 of his 1st headliner gigs at Lafayette in King’s Cross in September 2022 saying: ‘There is a magical moment during this gig when Ducrot steps away from his microphone, straps on an acoustic guitar and sits in the audience as he plays a song they will eventually sing along with.’

That unreleased song – How Do You Know? – is tonight’s highlight with its: ‘We don’t know the words but we’re singing’ refrain. It’s especially strong because the charismatic Ducrot teaches the audience the unfamiliar lyrics and then they sing along.

We think there’s also a line that goes: ‘How do you know that the good days are now?’ which fits with much of the bittersweet melancholy of the evening.

We start with Ducrot joined by a guitarist and drummer and we see at least 2 cameramen around the venue and would imagine many of the songs from tonight will find their way onto social media. Needless to say the audience is enrapt, taking pictures and recording videos from the get-go.

Things take an unexpected turn when Ducrot is joined by other string instrumentalists onstage including we think his brother and he even urges us to ‘throw some shapes’ before playing a flute to a more traditionally Irish song we don’t think we’ve heard him play before called Endless Nights.

We’re up on the balcony and the predominantly young 20-something audience gasp when he explains the inspiration behind Part Of Me about a close friend who took his own life.

This brave, heart-on-the-sleeve songwriting is just 1 reason why there is so much to grab the attention here. In other hands the subject matter could be mawkish but this brilliant singer and multi-instrumentalist is so moving when he observes: ‘Tell your mother how we used to laugh but that will never bring you back.’

We’ve been fans for a while and hit Ella Henderson duet All For You was shortlisted for our Best Song of 2022 and Ducrot’s gig with her at 02 Shepherds Bush Empire received similar acclaim.

He has gone on to have his own 1st top 20 hit in the UK with the more uptempo and almost 70s-sounding I’ll Be Waiting for which he is joined by a rousing young choir at the conclusion of this gig.

The big hits at the show’s close means the audience has been worked up into a frenzy and clearly don’t want the set to end. He’s described the Sheeran supports as a dream come true and if we had 1 wish it would be that our favourite tracks of Ducrot’s would be included on a debut album released soon.

  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy Cian Ducrot Tickets
  • Have you heard any of these songs or seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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